My First Investment – A Property and Trust Deed

Today I go over my first investment, a property investment that turned into a trust deed.

Greetings and welcome to my first installment of my Money Diary series. I hope you’ll enjoy my Money Diary series. I think you’ll get some entertainment out of it. As you’ll discover, I’ve made a number of financial faux pas in my life. If you’ve ever made any money mistakes in your life, you’ll definitely feel better after reading about some of my blunders. Is this one of them? Read on.

My First Investment

My first investment was one-quarter interest in a property that eventually turned into interest in a trust deed. How did it happen, how much did it cost and how much did I make?

Well, I was in my early 20s working in a restaurant and going to school. I wasn’t making much money but my costs were low. My rent was cheap because I was sharing a house with a couple of other guys I worked with, so we all split it. I had also gone vegetarian so my food costs were low as well.

At that time I was reading a wide variety of stuff from comparative religion and metaphysics to investments and personal finance. I had read George Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon, Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and a variety of other classics. (As a matter of fact, both The Richest Man in Babylon and the 1937 edition of Think and Grow Rich are now in the public domain so if you just click the links you can read them for free if you wish.)

The personal finance books set me to start saving. I had also read about different investments including real estate and stocks. My first goal was to find a way to get into some sort of real estate investment. I had a friend whose mom was a real estate agent and he had done a flip with her on a property. I asked if I could get in on the next one.

One Fourth Interest in a Small Property

When the next one came up it was just a small property. They offered me one-fourth interest in it for $2500 and some sweat equity. I jumped at the chance.

When it came time to put in the sweat equity I really didn’t perform to my best level. My construction skills were non-existent. Even my labor was less than optimal. I would get off of work dog tired and then head on over to the house to put in my labor. Needless to say I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be.

My First Investment – from Property to Trust Deed

Fortunately, when all was said and done, they were forgiving. When the house sold I received a check for $1700 and one half interest in a $9,700 trust deed paying an interest only 12% with a balloon about 7 years away. My friend received the other half of the note. The balloon just meant that the whole note became due and payable at a certain time. So, from that time on I began receiving a $50 interest payment every month.

About 3 years after that investment my friend who owned the other half of the note came to me and wanted to know if I wanted to buy out his half for $3,300. The banks weren’t even paying 12% so I said sure. I paid him the $3,300 and began to receive $100 a month instead of the $50 I had been receiving.

When the balloon on the trust deed came due a couple of years later the owner of the property didnt realize it was a balloon and asked for a one year extension. So, I got to receive that $100 a month for another year. A year later when he refinanced I received a check in the mail for $9700.

All in all, my first investment worked out very well. Nothing great but a solid little investment. When I look back I wish I would have done more of those types of investments. That was the first and last time I invested in a trust deed though.

Hope you enjoyed my first investment story of my money diary. I’ll admit it – this is one of my tamer stories. If you are looking for tales of financial destruction and missed opportunities don’t worry my friend stay tuned, they’re coming.

All the best,

Bob K.

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